[DE BOZE, Claude Gros.] (with) MEERMAN, Gerardus
Catalogue des livres du cabinet de M. Boze. (with) Plan du traité des origines typographiques.Paris, 1753-1762
Paris, G. Martin; H.L. Guérin & L.F. Delatour, 1753 (with) Paris, Lottin, 1762.
Small 4to, two works in one, pp. (ii), viii, 125, x, 552, Roman letter, Italic throughout. Device on t.p., borders and tailpieces throughout, handsome 1/3rd p. engraving by Edmé Bouchardon (1698-1762) and Pierre-Etienne Moitte (1722-1780), all edges marbled, priced in contemporary hand, slight age browning in places. A good copy in contemporary cat’s paw calf, spine and bands richly tooled and gilt, red morocco lettering piece, gilt, original satin page marker, marbled endpapers, corners a bit worn.
Claude Gros de Boze (1680-1753) was a distinguished scholar and numismatist, made secretary in perpetuity of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres in 1706. De Boze was also an ardent bibliophile and historian of printing and published a notice in the Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions on the discovery of the earliest printed book of certain date (Bigmore and Wyman 1, 77). He was one of the most important book collectors of his period, owning copies of the Gutenberg Bible (lot 18), the Mainz Psalter of 1457(lot 30), the 1462 Bible on vellum (lot 19), several blockbooks including the Speculum, and three Grolier bindings. This catalogue was compiled upon de Boze’s death by the bibliographer Gabriel Martin and comprises 2723 lots, arranged according to the usual subject headings, and including a comprehensive index of authors and a table listing all Elzevirs, Delphines, and variorum editions. It was prepared for an en bloc sale of the famous library, which was bought by the collectors Boutin and Cotte for an estimated 114,000 livres, and was then shared between themselves after the collection’s most valuable incunables had first been sold by them to Gaignat.
Baron Gerard Meerman (1722-1771), counsellor and pensioner of the city of Rotterdam, was a renowned bibliophile, specialising in works of history and also MSS. ‘For many years he was occupied with researches on the history of printing’ and his Conspectus originum typographicum (Amsterdam 1761) was translated into French in 1762 by the Abbé Gouget. Meerman supported the ‘Haarlem legend’ hypothesis for the origin of printing, claiming the Dutch printer Laurens Koster as its inventor.Peignot 83-84; Brunet II, 1642; Bigmore and Wyman I, 401 ff.; II, 32 ff